Min. Norton convenes inaugural meeting with National Trust Board

The Honourable Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton, on Friday May 3, 2019 met with the newly installed Board of Directors of the National Trust of Guyana.

This inaugural meeting, hosted in the boardroom of the Ministry of the Presidency, Department of Social Cohesion, Culture, Youth and Sport, was attended by five of the nine board members.

Those in attendance include the Board’s Chairperson Patrice La Fleur, Secretary General of the National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); Deputy Chairperson, Donald Sinclair, Director General, Department of Tourism, Ministry of Business; Nadia Gamel-Carter, Archivist of the National Archives of Guyana; Ronetta Sargent, Parliamentary Counsel, Attorney General’s Chambers, Ministry of Legal Affairs; and Colvern Venture, City Engineer, Georgetown Mayor and City Council.

Minister of Social Cohesion with Responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton flanked by members of the new Board of Directors of the National Trust of Guyana, along with the Director of Culture (ag), Tamika Boatswain (2nd from right) and the CEO of the National Trust, Nirvana Persaud (3rd from right).

The other Board members include Trevor Benn, Elizabeth Alleyne, Shireen Andrews and Germene Stewart.

Also present for the engagement was the Director of Culture (ag), Tamika Boatswain, and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Trust of Guyana, Nirvana Persaud.

Addressing the five Directors, Minister Norton touched on the functions of the National Trust of Guyana, which he said is to promote, preserve and safeguard Guyana’s tangible heritage.

Elaborating on the importance of the National Trust and its work, Minister Norton expressed eagerness to begin working with the new Board of Directors that will serve for two years.

Dr. Norton, who also has the responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, encouraged the Directors to put their best foot forward as they take the lead on protecting Guyana’s precious heritage.

Nirvana Persaud informed the Directors of the National Trust’s Act, which she says, “is the authority that will guide them in executing their role in the governance of the entity as it relates to the conservation, promotion and sustainable management of Guyana’s heritage resources”.

The National Trust of Guyana was established following the passage of the National Trust Act, No. 7 of 1972. The Act “makes provision for the preservation of monuments, sites, places and objects of historic interest or national importance.”

Its main responsibility is the preservation of all monuments in Guyana. Under the National Trust Act, the term ‘monuments’ includes any building, structure, object or other work of man or of nature whether above or below the surface of the land or the floor of the sea within territorial waters of Guyana and any site, cave or excavation. National Monuments are the vested responsibility of the National Trust and are gazetted in accordance with the agency’s Act. At present there are nine gazetted National Monuments.

As it is, the role of the National Trust is to provide advice to the Minister on all matters pertaining to the cultural heritage of Guyana; provide services to the public in relation to the safeguarding and promotion of heritage sites and monuments in Guyana; to sensitize members of the public about monuments and heritage sites in Guyana; to ensure that adequate policies are in place to safeguard and protect the cultural heritage resources while networking with relevant stakeholders; to ensure the long term survival of the nation’s heritage sites; and to preserve and archive important aspects of the nation’s cultural resources.